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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 May, 2003, 01:02 GMT 02:02 UK
Williams aims to stay on top
By Dan Warren and Mark Orlovac
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Williams enjoys his world title win with girlfriend Joanne
Williams has joined the ranks of two-time winners

New snooker world champion Mark Williams said he intended to stay at the top of the snooker tree after clinching his second title at the Crucible with a thrilling win over Ken Doherty.

Williams lost his form after his first world championship win in 2000, but is determined not to let the same thing happen again.

"I am going to make sure that I don't go the same way like I did after I won it in 2000," said Williams.

"You can't dominate the game now but I will work even harder to stay at the top of the hill.

"When I won it the first time I went down a steep road and it took me a while to get back up."

Doherty made Williams fight all the way for his 18-16 victory, after at one stage being 11-4 behind.

And Williams admitted that Doherty's amazing comeback had him reeling.

"I felt so many nerves it was frightening. At 11-8 it was like playing with a different arm," he said.

"I was under pressure and I bottled it to be fair.

"The interval saved me. If we had carried on I think he would have won," said Williams.

Williams is only the third player to win the UK, Masters and world titles in the same season.

"To be world champion again and world number one again is an amazing feeling. I'm only the second man to get the world number one spot back," he said.

"When you get mentioned with the likes of Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis and Ray Reardon, it's unbelievable."

Doherty said that he thought that victory was within his grasp as the match reached its climax.

The Irishman had won three of his previous four matches in the last frame, and said he felt alert despite the tension.

I gave every ball everything and every frame everything - I'm really gutted
Ken Doherty

"The adrenalin keeps you going - you cannot put it down to fatigue.

"You are always going to feel tired after a match, but not before," he said.

"I really thought I was going to win it, but in the last few frames he started playing better."

Doherty also revealed that he had surprised himself during the tournament with his ability to fight back.

"I have come through some really tough matches. I could have gone home two weeks ago," the Irishman said.

"But for two inches, Shaun Murphy would have beaten me in the first round.

"The matches here this year will be etched in my memory for a very long time.

"It was a great match to be involved in and the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic.

"This is the best place in the world for snooker. And when I was coming back I really thought I would win.

"I gave every ball everything and every frame everything. I'm really gutted that I have not won."

Mark Williams
"I can't believe it's happened"

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